Sunday, 18 July 2010

Quick note

Hey guys,

Just a quick note: some of you may have noticed a huge increase in the number of posts here, that's because I've imported all my old posts from 'folklore of pitong' because I realised that this blog was pretty much the same as the old one so there was no point in trying to keep them separate.

So if you never looked at the old blog (shame on you!) you can skim back through all my previous writing which I suspect is even worse than the drivel that I've already posted here.

In other news I've been working late a lot this week so hopefully work will be done soon as I have a couple of blog posts that I want to put up here, until then enjoy!


Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Links for those of an enquiring mind (or with 30 minutes at work)

I admit this isn't a proper post but my excuse is that in the past 36 hours I've worked for 23 and only slept for 7.

Anyway here are few interesting links that I've found today:

First up with 'the wire' being my primary source of entertainment for the last few weeks this piece from the BMJ on "An alternative to the war on drugs" rings very true and seems to talk a lot of sense: in essence no matter what a government does people will still take illegal drugs, in turn this will stress the system as a) there is no tax on drugs money and b) police investigations in to drug dealing cost a lot more than treating the drug users. No matter whether you agree with the piece or not it's well worth a read as a very pragmatic view on the continuing "war on drugs".

Second up is a wonderful list of science policy blogs in the UK. If you're not a scientist this will probably be of limited interest but as I'm fairly sure this is mainly read by my friends and you're all of a sciencey-bent I figure that you'll find something of interest in there.

Finally is my latest favourite comic: scenes from a multiverse a series of daily 4 panel comics from various facets of our multiverse.

Anyway I'm off to finish watching 'the wire' which is my penultimate recommendation (yes a piece of old media) if you haven't watched it get a copy and watch it: it is one of the most thought provoking bits of TV I've seen in a while. Excellent depth and "ohhh that's what that was about" moments.  Maybe not the happiest series in the world and certainly doesn't pull any punches on the realism but well worth a watch.

Before I scoot this is my final recommendation: "Accelerando" by Charles Stross (another bit of old media I know but available as an e-book) if any of my mentions of 'transhumanism' or 'the singularity' confuse you: read this it will at least help explain what they mean. An excellent book about the near future and the possible affect of AI.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Quick update

I've uploaded some more photos of my most recent weekend's excursions: Kyoto and Kobe as well as some of the Van De Graff generator at Osaka U.

Here's the link.

Script for Bio film

- DNA specific
- glanding
- designer food/pets/prosthetics
- designer drugs



 SFX: knocks followed by sounds of hasty cleaning


just what are you doing young man?

Nothing, mum, just a bit of writing.

writing eh? what's this, a sampler? what do you need one of these for?

It's for a project at school, mum, honest: we're writing our own morphers

I don't care what you're doing you know what I think about these ... things... it's un-natural, look what happened to your father

I know mum but I need to know this to..

To what? to get a good programming job? like your father! I forbid it. You've seen him, kept in that quarantine; everything they try gets chewed up and spat back out. You are not following him down that path.

But mum it's much safer, those genomes are restricted. Hell, most samplers/writers can barely write a virus that has an effect longer than 3 hours, they're struggling: the body is smart. It's difficult to write something that works anywhere near as well as dad's...

Don't lie to me I know the truth it's difficult to write it well and make it safe.

M snatches a device from the table.

no more, if I catch you with one of these again you'll be grounded, I'll just go and explain to your teacher what the situation is.

Mum... I need it, how else will I be able....

M [interupts]
Not another word from you - finish your maths and then go to bed, I'm sorry I ever let you even look at that subject....

M leaves


S loitering looks up as a person, A, approaches then relaxes as he's recognised

how'd it go?

perfect, they're all tripping balls and none the wiser....

excellent, keep it that way or otherwise we're both dead: you when they find out and me if my mum finds out.

I still don't know how you did it, especially after your mum nabbed your sampler..

Well by that point it was pretty stable and the models are good now... that and my dad's notes are awesome

A [worried now]
They're not going to end up like him are they?

As if you care

I do if it means the cops or bios are brought in

it's fine Dad left some detailed notes and I spotted the error he made.. just wish I knew how to fix it


Just to check I can't pick up that virus can I, I mean I was careful but I'd rather not spend the next day seeing pixies all over the place if it's the same to you..

Don't worry I made sure that both your's and mine genomes were well exempt and if you're truly worried use this

S hands A a vial

it's an antidote will clean you nice and clear, that being said you might enjoy the expierence: either way enjoy and don't get dyed blue again!

Exit S

A is in the garden and B is in the kitchen

B, did you remember to introduce that virus into the circulation like the engineer said we should, I need to empty the bin?

[exasperated] Yes, dear, I did it last night. It should be mostly converted now so we can restart the composter.



a couple sit watching the TV

....Police are still looking for the murder and advise the public to be on the lookout for someone using a fast type genome modified pet.

A brushes his hand against a gel-like surface [maybe glue,  jelly] and the TV mutes

I can't believe the cops allow those FT genomes, they seem to cause more trouble than their worth.

I don't know, they make my job easier. I have two goos to monitoring the inbounds and sorting them and a symb that deals with trouble makers.

Yes but you work in a hospital, it's a pretty controlled environment, you have to get clearance for every retro-viral you put into those FT's. You can't exactly set them to


A & B stand over C who is on the floor obviously in pain

A: did you try any of the goo he had?
B: hell no, I hate that stuff at the best of times, even just letting the machine do the scan makes my skin crawl
A: so you've tried it?
B: only a few times, and never with something as shady as this set up.

C convulses letting out a louder moan, as he does he rolls over revealing goo covering part of his face

A: What do you think he was doing then?
B: well it looks like a cheap narco-unit, read in the 'NA [SAID 'neigh'] spit out the perfect meal
A: sounds fun.. what do you think went wrong
B: Well looks like he was using illegal codes for it

C groans again, a stronger convulsion

A: Anything we can do for him or should we just let it run it's course
B: It looks like it's getting worse lets do a quick clean up run

B pulls out a device similar to the one beside C but better looking, detaches a pipe that runs to a large store of goo and plugs in his own device. he then runs the device over C letting some of the goo touch C's hand [device could be phone or something similar in largish box or possibly out of shot only the pipe showing - vacuum cleaner?]

B: there that should stabilise him until the ambo gets here.
A: think he'll make it?
B: of course, the guy was only making dinner, looks like some git pranked him more than anything.
A: so you never use those?
B: I do but only the one at home, it already has my genome so it doesn't need to scan me, why don't you?
A: I don't see the point, I tend to eat out anyway so I just grab something from a corner stop